Meet the new priests

By Chicago Catholic
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

To read this article in Spanish, click here.

Cardinal Cupich ordained seven men to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Chicago June 29 at St. John Brebeuf Church, Niles. The men range in age from 26 to 52 and hail from the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Philippines, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador. They begin their new assignments July 1. An eighth priest, born in the Diocese of Peoria and educated at Catholic Theological Union, also will be ordained for the Archdiocese of Tabora, Tanzania. Chicago Catholic congratulates all of them.

Father Larry Josue Basbas, 52

First assignment:  Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Glenview

Born in: Agaña Heights, Guam

Education: Paco Catholic School; San Vicente Catholic School; North Chicago Community High School; Columbia College; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Cefie Josue Basbas and the late Victorio Basbas

First Mass: July 5, 2:30 p.m., St. Pascal Church, 6199 W. Irving Park Road

Father Larry Josue Basbas was born in Guam and raised in the Philippines, where his family lived in a congested part of Manila in a house directly across from Holy Family Chapel. “I recall how Masses were always packed, and holy days and feast days were celebrated with reverence and festivities,” Basbas said.

His mother helped his religious development, both in the Philippines and the United States. He felt a call to the priesthood in second grade.

Father Arthur Bautista, 29

First assignment: the uniting parishes of St. Timothy, St. Margaret Mary and St. Henry

Born in: Malolos, Bulacan, Philippines

Education: St. Martin de Porres Catholic School; La Consolacion High School; Divine Word College Seminary; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Amado and Angelita Camua Bautista

First Mass: July 5, 10 a.m., St. Josaphat Church, 2311 N. Southport Ave.

Father Arthur Bautista began his journey to the priesthood in the Philippines, where he was born and raised. He entered Immaculate Conception Major Seminary for his college education at age 16. His education was interrupted when his family moved to the United States in 2011.

Bautista spent the next three years working in a nursing home, first as a dietary aide and then as a nursing assistant. In 2014, he entered the Divine Word College Seminary in Epworth, Iowa, to complete his college degree. After further discernment with Archdiocese of Chicago vocation director Father Francis Bitterman, he decided he was called to be a diocesan priest and entered the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.

“I want to become a priest because I want to serve the people of God and share with them the goodness of God through the sacraments that I will be able to celebrate with the people,” Bautista said.

Father Ismael Garcia Sainz, 27

First assignment: St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook Parish, Northbrook

Born in: Evanston

Education: Escuela Primaria Constitucion de 1917; Escuela Secundaria Jose Ruben Romero; Seminiario Diocesano de Morelia, Tomas de Aquino; Saint Joseph College Seminary/Loyola University; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Fabiola Sainz Escobar and Ismael Garcia Morales

First Mass: June 30, 6 p.m., Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Father Ismael Garcia Sainz was born in Evanston and raised in Mexico.

“If I have to choose a point in my life to start talking about my vocation, it would be at my first Communion,” he said. “I remember the priest telling me, ‘Do not let this day be the first and last time you receive Christ,’ and as I received Christ for the first time, I felt a fire inside me, like the sensation you get after getting on a roller coaster. I wanted to know more about him, the one I received. My mother got me involved as an altar server, and I noticed that the Mass was not boring anymore. I had to be awake and ready to serve at the altar. I started to enjoy Mass and paid more attention.”

He was invited to a retreat at a seminary when he was 15. “I was excited for the invitation, but I did not know what a seminary was. He explained to me, and then my excitement turned into shock. I was shocked and surprised that a place like that existed,” he said. “I guess I never thought priests are normal human beings. I was also shocked that an ordinary guy like me could be called to serve the people of God as a priest.”

He started seminary in Morelia, Mexico, and then came to Chicago, starting at Casa Jesús and then attending St. Joseph College Seminary.

“I was captivated by the different people attending Mass,” Garcia said. “I was able to see the universality of the church, people from all over the world sharing the same faith. I am fascinated by the different expressions of faith in the different cultures, the richness in their traditions and joy in their faith.”

Father Patrick Gorman, 42

First assignment: St. Alphonsus (Wellington Avenue)

Born in: Park Ridge

Education: Grandview Heights Elementary School, Grandview Heights High School, University of Notre Dame, Purdue University; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Kathleen and Robert Gorman

First Mass: June 29; 5 p.m.; Mary, Seat of Wisdom Church, Park Ridge

Father Patrick Gorman was born in Park Ridge and then moved with his family to Columbus, Ohio. He studied computer science, earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Notre Dame. It was during graduate school at Purdue University that he “discerned out” of computer science and began a decade-long search for his vocation. “The search took me to Taiwan to become a kindergarten teacher, to Alabama to work at a startup doing research and software development, and ultimately to China to learn Chinese,” Gorman said. “I knew that I wanted to find some kind of meaningful work and to serve others, but I didn’t know what form it would take.”

He worked in a non-governmental organization  doing microfinance in China, but still felt something was missing.

“I had a great group of faithful friends and a great local parish, and in this context I was able to begin discern God’s call more clearly,” Gorman said. “I felt like He was calling me to the priesthood, and after a lot of prayer and reading, I felt that call confirmed.”

Father Vinicio Jiménez, 32

First assignment: Immaculate Conception and Five Holy Martyrs

Born in: Olmedo, Loja, Ecuador

Education: Unidad Educativa Fiscomisional Mons Alberto Zambrano Palacios, Unidad Edicativa Fiscomisional Daniel Alvarez Burneo, Facultad Franciscana  de Teologia Cardenal Echeveria, University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Livia Maria Medina and Edilberto Jiménez

First Mass: June 29, 6 p.m., Santa Maria del Popolo Church, Mundelein

Father Vinicio Jiménez was educated by Dominican sisters in elementary school and Marist brothers in high school, but it wasn’t until he was working with catechism preparation at a Franciscan parish that he felt a call to priesthood during a 15-day retreat in his last year of college.

“I felt in love with the Franciscan style of life and I decided to become Franciscan friar,” Jiménez said.

He joined the Franciscans and did his philosophy studies in Ecuador. When he went to a parish in Guayaquil City for pastoral experience, he met some diocesan seminarians and discerned that he might be called to the diocesan priesthood.

He moved to Chicago in 2013.

“I’m happy to say yes to God’s call,” Jiménez said. “Please keep me in your prayers and one day with your prayers and God’s help I will be a good and happy priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago.”

Father Henry (Hank) Lyon, 26

First assignment: St. Emily, Mount Prospect

Born in: Buffalo Grove

Education: St. Mary, Buffalo Grove; Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire; Iowa State University; St. Joseph College Seminary/Loyola University; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Ken and Katie (Spoor) Lyon

First Mass: 7 p.m. June 30, St. Juliana Church, 7201 N. Oketo Ave.

Father Hank Lyon was curious about the priesthood as a boy, but he had a passion for art, so after high school he left for Iowa State University to study art.

“To my surprise, in the midst of college life I found my passion for art was being outweighed by my growing passion for our Lord,” he said. “This new passion steered my life to leave Iowa State and enter St. Joseph College Seminary. There I came to a deeper understanding of priesthood and myself. To this day I know that I made the right decision in following Christ.”

Father Martin Marulanda, 35

First assignment: Our Lady of Tepeyac, Assumption and St. Roman

Born in: Manizales, Caldas, Colombia

Education: Redemptorist Fathers School, Christ School (Marist Brothers), Caldas University; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Heli Marulanda and Aleyda Cortes de Marulanda

First Mass: July 5, 9:30 a.m., St. Damian, Oak Forest

Father Martin Marulanda grew up with strong connections to the church. His uncle is a bishop in Colombia, and his parish priests, he said, were good and holy examples. So it’s no wonder that he considered a priestly vocation early in his life.

But he also had a talent and passion for music. He studied music in college and worked for a non-profit that brought free classical music lessons to vulnerable young people in some of Colombia’s poorest areas.

“This experience certainly changed my worldview on justice and charitable works and made me think more intensely in dedicating my life to the service of others,” Marulanda said.

So did his work as a percussionist with the local symphony orchestra, which performed at community venues and churches as well as in the symphony hall.

“Every time I used to play in church or attended Sunday Mass with my family, a spirit of mysticism invaded my soul and my heart, and I could clearly hear the voice of the Lord calling me again to pursue a priestly life,” he said.

When he decided that he was called to be a priest, he wanted his formation to be a “radical and fruitful” experience, and he searched for opportunities that would take him far from home. A friend told him about the Archdiocese of Chicago, and he was admitted to Casa Jesús and then the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.

“Chicago has, indeed, a large Catholic population not only Anglo people but also Hispanic, Polish, Filipino, among other faithful people of God who certainly are in need and deserve holy ministers who, even though come from different countries and experiences, are trained in compassion to serve and lead the body of Christ according to his universal, loving and merciful sacred heart,” Marulanda said.

Also ordained June 29:

Father Patrick Bergin, for the Archdiocese of Tabora, Tanzania. Bergin was born and raised in the Diocese of Peoria, and joined the U.S. Peace Corps. He was posted to Tabora, Tanzania, where he taught in an agricultural college for two years. He then worked at the African Wildlife Foundation and helped establish a program to assist local communities to participate in conservation of national parks and wildlife. He eventually became CEO of the foundation, which increased its scope and visibility during his 16 years of leadership. He holds a doctorate from the School of International Development in Norwich, England.

Bergin took early retirement from the foundation to pursue his vocation to the priesthood and has completed his studies at Catholic Theological Union in Hyde Park. After ordination, he will return to Tabora.

First Mass: July 4, 5 p.m., Old St. Mary’s Church, 1500 S. Michigan Ave.


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